COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) - The company owner who fired more than 30 employees who missed work on A Day Without Immigrants is offering them their jobs back.
Former employees of JVS Masonry choose not to attend work on Thursday in order to support the national effort to show the Trump administration how much immigrants contribute to the country's economy.
The company owner, Jim Serowski, said workers failed to show up for their shifts at two job sites on Thursday. He said that his decision to let them go was based on company policy regarding employee attendance, not on the workers' reason for taking the day off.
Laid off workers, however, viewed the situation differently.
Jesus Carillo, who had worked for Serowski for about seven-months prior to being fired, said that he and his coworkers obtained permission from their supervisor on Wednesday to take Thursday off. Carillo said they had offered to make up the lost day of work the following Saturday.
For that reason, he says workers were surprised when they returned to their Green Valley Ranch job site on Friday to find their tools chained up.
Soon after, they received their final paychecks.
In an interview interpreted from Spanish to English, Carillo told CBS4's Melissa Garcia that having been fired to support a cause felt like racism.
Serowski responded to the backlash with a video on social media, stating, "I have the utmost respect for each and every one of the guys in the field … I am not a racist."
"The bottom line is, (the workers who didn't show up) shut two of my jobs down," Serowski told CBS4's Melissa Garcia.
He said the company was under deadline to finish the jobs, and that workers not showing up had put him and the company in a bind.
He also said that the workers violated longstanding company policy that he had made them well aware of.
"They were told, if you no-call-no-show, you don't have a job," Serowski said. "It's that simple."
Serowski said that many of the employees he let go had worked for him for about 20 years.
He decided to offer jobs back to any of the workers that had been fired. He said all they needed to do would be to go and talk to him on Monday.
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